Project 333 update; goodbye to stilettos?

March 19, 2015

I haven't done a Project 333 update lately. Although at this point, I should call it a Project 313 update. I'll explain in a minute.

For those of you who don't know, Project 333 is an attempt to build a small, capsule wardrobe of 33 items (excluding workout clothes, underpinnings, and pajamas) for three months, adding in and cycling out clothes every three months as the seasons change. You can read more about my journey with this here and here.

I thought I had whittled my wardrobe down really well, and have been really pleased with how easy it is to get dressed in the morning, and how everything I own works with each other (this is because I have five basic colors I use -- three neutrals, navy, gray, and white, and two accents, pink and lavender).

But I just donated another huge bag of clothes. It's just so surprising that I really can live quite comfortably with less clothes. Right now, it feels like I only have about 13 items, rather than 33, hence Project 313!

One factor in getting rid of some clothes has been my weight loss. I've lost 17 pounds so far, and a couple pair of trousers went into that bag. I hope never to see that size again!

I'm hoping to lose another 25, for a total of 42 pounds. If I keep going at this pace, one pound lost per week, I will reach my goal the first week of September.

So, obviously, a few more items of clothing will be going in the donation bag.

I've looked at my spring/summer clothes, and I think I have enough pieces to get me through these two seasons, and through additional weight loss, without having to buy anything new. Casual summer dresses, which I mostly wear, are pretty forgiving. I might buy an inexpensive pair of cotton ankle pants in an intermediate size, to see me through.

I currently am down to one pair of jeans and one pair of casual trousers. The jeans are getting too big, but I have another pair that I can fit into after losing about five more pounds. I will just swap the current jeans out.

I have about five or six casual summer dresses, and some dresses for church, and that will do me, I think. I have a couple special occasion dresses that have been too small for me, that will now work perfectly for upcoming graduations and weddings.

Dresses and sweaters and tops are fairly forgiving; it's the jeans and trousers that need to be sized down.

I'm looking forward to building a new wardrobe in the fall, but for now, I'm making do, and doing with a lot less.

The big shift now in my wardrobe has to do with shoes. Having spent most of the past year or two in socks or bare feet, it's a killer to put on my favorite high heels. And when I look in my closet, I shake my head and say, really?

A couple dozen pair of high heels? Two pair of flats? No good walking shoes?

Things have got to change. 

I wear heels to church (maybe in them 4 hours a week), and out to a nice dinner or concert (once a month?). How many pair of heels do I need?!

I used to run errands and go to the library and the mall in heels, but, now? No, thank you.

One thing I've learned is that I need to have clothes and shoes that fit my real life, not my fantasy life. As much as I like to get all dressed up and fancy-like, it's not really my life. And even if it was, do I really want to kill my feet anymore?

So I just ordered myself a pair of Minnetonka moccasins (yes, they still make them!) in a soft gray suede. They have a nice comfortable sole on them. They will be perfect for errand running, and they're cute, too.
And I'm donating some of my heels. I have to admit, I'm keeping a half dozen in my closet. The rest I'm boxing up with a note to reassess in the fall. Maybe after losing 42 pounds, I will be a little lighter on my feet, and they will be more comfortable.

But I really think the writing is on the wall. Several pair of comfortable walking shoes and a couple pair of lower-heeled dressy shoes is all I need. All these 3- and 4-inch heels I have are probably going to be gone in a couple years.

I have to say, this is hard. It has to do with recognizing that I'm getting older. It has to do with acknowledging that I have to accommodate a body that would rather be comfortable than stylish (although those terms really aren't mutually exclusive).

On the other hand, there is great freedom in this. It all has to do with being kind to myself and taking care of myself. Since I've been on this new lifestyle of eating whole, unprocessed food, without sugar, I picture all my little cells rejoicing in being fed better quality food; now I can picture my feet saying to each other, "yay! she's finally taking care of us!!"

So, I'm on the lookout for stylish, comfortable, lower-heeled shoes to wear for dressier occasions. I need two pair to replace two dozen. Not in any hurry; I'll wait to reach my weight loss goal first. Any recommendations?

(I'm sorry for the lack of photos; the one I used is an old one from my files. I am having trouble downloading pictures right now. Have no clue why. Wish there was a teenager in the house to help.)


  1. I have had to have a massive sort out too due to weight loss. It was amazing how many pairs of shoes didn't fit, they were too big. Trousers were the worst they looked ridiculous but I have found tops to be a little more forgiving looking baggy rather than too big. You have done so well with your weight, here's hoping it continues.

  2. I SO know how you feel. Big huge congrats on te weight loss. This needs to be rewarded with something that makes you happy. I know about high heels also. It is very difficult to give them all up at once, but a lifestyle change can cause major decisions to be made. I have remained blissfully unaware that I'm aging, but there was a point when I tottered around on those stilletos that I seriously questioned my wisdom. They are beautiful, they have been a part of my life for most of my life, but I'm ready for a change too. We both need a big round of applause for recognizing that we are in a different cycle of our lives, we no longer have to prove anything to anyone. xx's

  3. Congratulations on your weight loss. You are an inspiration. I need to do the same, make a goal and stick to it. I had to stop wearing heels some years ago due to foot problems. I am a barefoot girl, first thing I do when I come indoors is kick off my shoes.

  4. Hi Deborah, yes congrats on all of that weight loss, it's truly amazing! Congrats to on the organizing of your closet and clothes and shoes. It's just wonderful and you must feel great! I love your shoes. Take care and enjoy the rest of the week.
    Julie xo

  5. I did do this three years ago when I lost 20 pounds and even fixed a few things that I loved. Stilettos? I will never part with them...I LOVE THEM! Love yours too, that's my type. Now that I feel lighter I like them even better.
    So what are you doing pretty lady. Can you tell me what is your diet about? I want to lose 10 more. I love to lose weight, I'm very strict.
    Thanks for sharing sweetie.

  6. Congrats on losing weight. You inspired me many months ago with choosing colors that I can mix and match and it has made a big difference. Since breaking my foot at Thanksgiving, I have to wear comfy shoes, no heels for me. I twisted that same ankle just this week. argh! I had good luck with Vionic Orthaheel shoes from Zappos, if you want to look at them online.

  7. You have a good, clear plan. That's most of the battle. Very pretty shoes! I hope that you find that you can wear them again.

  8. Did this a few years ago, it was hard because they are so beautiful. I love the feel of AGL's but they are pricy. Italian style and made to last. Congrats on the weight loss.

  9. Ugh! I don't think I can ever give up my shoes until I'm ready. Could I trade the underwear or pjs in the 333 mix in order to keep my shoes?, lol.

  10. Dearest Deborah,
    Yes, you are again being honest with your audience and with yourself. We are getting older and yes, I too have been looking for more comfortable shoes the last five years I would say. Those real high heels are sometimes getting dangerous... I've always been a fast walker and God forbid if we fall! Lately I have to adjust my (too) fast pace as Pieter is getting a bit slower. He better does, especially after all his heart problems. So that solves another problem.
    You are doing great it looks like; reaching your goal. I myself want to re-gain about 2 lbs but so far I've not managed...
    Sending you hugs,

  11. Congratulations on the weight loss. I sense the intention in your words - intention to live mindfully. Taking care of one's body is good stewardship of resources, I think.

  12. You're doing so well on your weight loss, Deborah. Your shoes are so pretty! I guess I've never been into heels, as I prefer comfortable, but cute shoes. You'll work it all out. Enjoy Your weekend, my friend.

  13. Minnetoka's can be so much fun, you can be fabulous and not frumpy :)
    Have had one pair since high school.........40+ years ago, wore them daily for years and years.
    I now have 1 suede pair and 1 leather pair. They are perfect for casual wear without resorting to sneakers with the same level of comfort.

  14. I truly admire you, Deborah. I must confess that I love shoes and would find this part hard.... Lately I have been addicted to flats and find them so much more comfortable and cute :) By the way, those sliver heels with the flowers on them are amazing!

    I am so happy for you, dear friend. Your weight loss journey is inspiring and it's a blessing to hear of your success. Happy Spring to you! Hugs!

  15. Deborah, 17 pounds! That's wonderful! Aren't you glad you kept going even through moments when it was difficult? And your wardrobe fine tuning sounds so smart. Do you know, I just ordered my first pair of Minnetonkas last night! My husband has worn their slippers for years and I broke down and ordered a pair of sheepskin lined slippers after complaining for ages that I can't find comfortable slippers.

    I'm so excited for you about your life changes. Just think how wonderful it will be to go into this summer feeling better!

  16. Give the little lady a big hand!! It's even harder to lose weight after a certain age, and you've done it and continue to do it. Brava!!

    Ah, yes, the shoe dilemma!! I'm 63 and still hanging onto my high heels; however, I have divided them into categories: sitting shoes (stilettos), standing shoes (31/2" heels or so) and short-distance shoes (2" heels). I can no longer wear my stilettos two days in a row. I thought once I hung up my ballet shoes, I was done w/aches and pains in my feet. Guess what? I was wrong.

    I do love the Chic Pump from Stuart Weitzman. It has a lovely, feminine shape. The heel is low, inner sole is padded and it has a toe that is not too pointed and not too round. Also, it comes in my size (4B). I have them in every color.

    Cheers, M-T

  17. I so admire you for your paring down your wardrobe to essentials and congratulations on your weight loss! I order cute walking shoes from 'FootSmart'. xo Karen

  18. Congratulations on your weight loss, Deborah. My husband and I are about to focus some attention on that area of our lives, and you are an inspiration :) I think the focus on simpler, kinder clothing (shoes, food, make-up, jewelry, etc.) means we have more time and energy to give to things that really matter.

  19. Ahhh... , beautiful shoes really seem to be pieces of art. Uncomfortable to wear but so lovely to see. I have 2 pairs of beautiful shoes in my closet I will never wear again , but they are so beautiful I don't think I'll part with them. Maybe I will use them as a dresser display... or put them in the trunk of dress-up clothes I have set aside for our 7 granddaughters. Either way I agree with you. I really don't need many shoes or too many clothes, but the ones I keep need to work for me as I am and for the life I live.

    Congratulations on your weight loss !

  20. I really like your clothing ideas. Your shoes are stunning, and it would be hard to part with them. Congratulations on your weight loss too!

  21. I'm no fashion maven, so I have no shoe advice for you :) I gave up heels LONG ago. I'm 5'7" so I never really needed the extra height. And they KILLED my feet. Plus, after we married, my husband later told me that my high heels gave me such ugly feel -- misformed and crooked. He was right. Wearing low heels, and flats that are comfortable and good for my legs is just another way of being kind to my body and maintaining good health. The highest heel I have is probably not even 2" high. I would ditch them all! There are so many good options out there for comfort.


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